If you thought deer were purely herbivores, think again. Deer have been known to occasionally munch on everything from bunnies to human remains. Seriously. And recently, a man posted a shocking video on Instagram showing a whitetail deer chowing down on a snake.
The footage was originally filmed and posted by Trey Reinhart, who can be heard in the video saying, “Are you eating a snake?” as the deer slurps down the snake like it’s a long strand of spaghetti. It’s unclear what kind of snake the does is eating—as its head is already chewed to flesh by the time Reinhart encountered the wild scene. See it for yourself below.
It might be one of the only times a deer has been documented eating a snake—but Lindsay Thomas, Chief Communications Officer for the National Deer Association, tells Field & Stream that it’s likely related to other “deer eating meat” incidents involving does.
“Basically, does are known to eat their own afterbirth,” explains Thomas. The deer is likely eating the snake for “nutritional benefit after the drain of pregnancy and [as] anti-predator cleanup. I suspect it is responding to very similar cues to a birth scene…Anecdotally, it seems like every example I’ve ever seen of deer eating meat involves a doe, and usually in springtime.”
Well, nature can be pretty shocking. Regardless, the whitetail doe likely benefited from the high-protein snack of a dead serpent.